New World Wine Awards Reveal Reasons To Take Another Look At Riesling

Among the record number of medals awarded at this year’s New World Wine Awards, the unsung hero varietal this year is Riesling. Of the 47 Rieslings entered, 38 won a medal with 35 of these coming from New Zealand vineyards.

“Riesling is a varietal that is often considered unfashionable and is one that people tend to ignore. But it’s the wine that winemakers drink and deserves more attention especially given the relative quality for the price per bottle and the cellaring potential as a wine that ages very well,” says Jim Harré, chair of the judging panel.

A full range of varietals were entered in the awards, with 1,309 wines entered overall. The 13-strong independent panel of wine experts who judged the wines, using the same internationally recognised points system as all other major wine shows, awarded 805 medals overall, including 86 Gold, 236 Silver and 483 Bronze medals. The best wines in each category were then re-tasted to determine the Champion wine of each key varietal, and the overall Champion Red and Champion White.

Champion Chardonnay and Champion White Wine
Wolf Blass Gold Label Chardonnay 2013

Champion Shiraz & Syrah and Champion Red Wine
Kirrihill Regional Range Clare Valley Shiraz 2014

Champion Sparkling Wine
Hunter’s MiruMiruTM NV (Marlborough)

Champion Sauvignon Blanc
Rapaura Springs Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Champion Pinot Noir
Peter Yealands Reserve Marlborough Pinot Noir 2014

Champion Pinot Gris
The Luminary Martinborough Pinot Gris 2014

Champion Aromatic Wine
Cicada Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2014

Champion Rosé
Arrogant Frog Ribet Pink Syrah Rosé 2014

Champion Single Varietal Reds & Blends
Coopers Creek SV Hawkes Bay Merlot/Malbec ‘Metals and Gravels’ 2013

“The quality of wines entered overall was outstanding, and it was great to see New Zealand wines continue to perform so well, including winning six out of the nine varietal Champion awards. This further reinforces the local wine industry’s growing recognition of the credibility and value of the New World Wine Awards, which is unique in its focus on wines that are both affordable and widely available,” says Mr Harré.

In order to be eligible for entry to the New World Wine Awards the wines entered must retail for $25 or less and there must be at least 5,000 bottles available for sale through New World’s 137 supermarkets nationwide. This ensures the award-winning wines are more accessible than is often the case for other wine awards.

The awards results are eagerly anticipated by consumers as is reflected by sales of the New World Wine Awards medal-winning wines. In the first six weeks of the 2014 results being announced, 282,000 bottles of the ‘Top 50’ wines with a retail value of $4.2 million flew off New World supermarket shelves.

“Shopping habits are changing and more people are choosing to purchase their wine as part of their weekly grocery shop. Customers can have confidence that in choosing a wine that has won gold at the New World Wine Awards it is of the same quality as other gold medal wines, but is guaranteed to cost them less than $25. This gives people a great chance to try varieties they wouldn’t normally choose, such as Riesling,” says Mr Harré.

Video clips of the judging process, food and wine matches, and the full results of the New World Wine Awards 2015 are available at:

For further information, interviews or images, please contact:
Louise Nolan on 022 6922 752 or

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